Thank you Dawn for nominating me for this. I am a bit late in following through, and since today is the last day of June, I wanted to make sure I do. My little sister in Jesus Dawn has a wonderful blog to check out- Drawing Closer to Christ. at drawingclosertochrist.com
Father’s Day was a few weeks ago, but I felt perhaps sharing about my experience will benefit others.
The Meaning of this Tag:
A father is someone who loves his child unconditionally, provides for them, protects them always, teaches them values, disciplines them fairly, and wants the best for them. For that, we should always, ALWAYS have respect for our fathers. They are created to bear the responsibility of caring for and protecting their families just as God calls them to do. Father’s Day is about reminding your father how much you appreciate him, but I hope this tag will perhaps remind you this month how blessed you are to have a father at all.
As I said before, this is a very hard day for me every year. My father and I have a very complex relationship. In fact, it is the polar opposite of my relationship with my mother. Growing up I felt abandoned, rejected, unloved, forgotten, and neglected because of his behavior that stemmed from alcoholism and what I believe could have been other mental health issues (don’t quote me, I’m not a doctor XD).
I will always love my father. He is a part of me, half of me to be exact. However, mustering the strength to honor or respect him at all has taken a long time to do. We talk sometimes over text, but not a lot. Some days he responds and I feel like we’re getting somewhere, then he vanishes like he always did. It has helped living a thousand miles away from him since finishing high school, but I have come to accept the pain I feel from my childhood will never go away. Recently, in the last week actually, he said something that has proven he’ll never change. I was trying to gain closure, but he continues to blame me for things that I may talk about in another post. Anyways, he may move on in his life, which is painful for me to watch, but that doesn’t change the past he continues to deny and blame me for.
If you have a similar situation, whether you have been abused, manipulated, abandoned, or rejected by your father (even someone else in your family), can I give you some advice that has helped me cope with such a toxic relationship?
You have a choice. You can walk away. You can block a number. You can say no. You can cut them off from your life. That doesn’t mean you don’t honor them, that just means you have enough respect for yourself to protect your heart and enough respect for them to love them at a safe distance. You can pray for someone every day and never talk to them again. Isn’t that better than subjecting yourself to more pain and building up further resentment that could become the poison of unforgiveness? I think so, because no one deserves to be abused in any way. You deserve love. If you don’t/didn’t receive that love from your father, always know you have a Father in Heaven who loves you more than your father ever could.
I hope you do have an awesome father though. If you do, give him a bear hug and be grateful to have the best protector you could have on this earth. If you don’t, pray for him, friend.
Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you to participate.
2. Use the original featured image.
3. Copy and paste the introduction and meaning of this tag at the beginning of your post, along with the links to both creators’ original posts. *This rule is very important. Please, please link this post and Purple Rose’s post so that as authors we may be alerted when a tag is published. It also gives us proper credit, which is much appreciated. Thank you
4. Answer the questions.
5. Nominate one or more people to participate.
6. Enjoy the rest of your month!
Here are the questions for this month’s tag:
1. What is your relationship like with your biological father, if anything at all?
My father passed away in April 2009. Our relationship was strained due to his alcoholism and other issues. He was diagnosed with clinical depression later in life which leads me to think he was self medicating with alcohol. The last year of his life was when I spent the most time with him . Jesus gave me the blessing of being able to share Jesus with my father and seeing my father accept Christ as his Savior 14 months before my father died. I shared about my experience of my father coming to Jesus in a post- Forgiveness From Me Led to My Father Receiving Forgiveness From God.
2. What is one thing you would change about your father if you could? What is one thing you wouldn’t change?
I don’t think I would change anything even if I could go back in time and do so. The reason is not because of my father, but rather because my journey in life would be altered.
As Romans 8:28 says- ” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
The all things for me includes my experience growing up with an alcoholic father. The all things led me to who I am and my ministry today. It was a very difficult path to be on, but God is blessing others.
3. Who do you celebrate on Father’s Day (your father, step-father, grandfather, uncle, etc.)?
At my age all of the male relatives fitting in those categories are dead. However, each Father’s Day I am blessed that young people I have helped buy me lunch to say Happy Father’s Day. 🙂
4. What was the most valuable thing he taught you?
The most valuable things I learned were because of him but not from him. I learned about forgiveness, and about not giving up on praying for loved ones because of him.
However, I will never forget something he said one time in a therapy situation. I joined him for family care at an Alcohol Rehab place. The counselor looked at my dad and said, “Gary, you have a lot of power in the room.” My dad replied- “Madam, I only have as much power as you allow me to have.” That has stuck with me that other people only have as much power as I let them have over how I handle myself and my attitude.
5. What is one thing he does that you would never do?
He withdrew and isolated himself for a long time due to his mental health issues and alcoholism. I am cognizant of that, so I do not withdraw into isolation as I deal with depression brought on by chronic health problems.
6. How do you honor him on Father’s Day?
Since he is in heaven with Jesus now, there is nothing I can do to honor him.
7. How has your relationship with him impacted the person/parent you are today?
I think of 2 Corinthians 1:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God “
God has helped me overcome the issues related to growing up with an alcoholic father who was at times abusive. I understand what it is like to deal with family problems,
It has given me greater empathy for others, which helps me reach out to refugees and immigrants.
My nominees are:
Ann of The Vine
Sonrisa of Living By Faith
KathGrace of The God I Know
Paulina of Blissful Hearts
Michael and Joy of Married Strong